We have just recently been reconnected to the internet after 3 week hiatus at home. On 6th August we experienced the most violent storm we’ve witnessed here in France, this was the last of a 3 night storm fest. We’d become complacent over the years and had forgotten to make sure that the modem was unplugged or at least protected by a safety cut out adapter. On the night in question, as we sat in bed reading, the house was shaken by a couple of terrifying claps of thunder and of course there would have been lightening along with that. We didn’t lose power and carried on reading for a while whilst waiting for the storm to abate. After about an hour we drifted off to sleep.
The next morning we had no internet, and we established that the modem was kaput! I think at that point I felt rather anxious and lost. We knew that we could go and connect at my daughters, but it’s not the same as having ready access whenever we wanted it. Over the next few days, whilst we waited for the expensive replacement modem, we fell into an hourly or two hourly habit and began to discover a world that doesn’t revolve around Facebook, Twitter and other web pages of choice. I also found myself playing a few moves in my many Scrabble games and then coming home.
The modem arrived a few anxious days later, and with much swearing and frustration we found we were still unable to connect. We had several very tedious and frustrating calls with our internet provider Nordnet who were as helpful as the proverbial chocolate fire-guard. I find it incredibly frustrating when faced with this type of French lack of customer service, as my French is not good enough for me to kick arse. I am known for my arse kicking and have found my assertiveness very useful over the years, here I cannot use it and I get quite despondent. So, with them not coming forward with a solution and us not knowing what to do next, we contacted an English IT man and over a few days had conversations with him, and he in turn conversations with Nordnet. Still no joy. Eventually he had to come here, talk to Nordnet, whilst they and he made adjustments to various signals. Internet was restored, but my life had changed.
Meanwhile during this 3 week hiatus, thankfully sunny and warm weeks, we spent a lot of time reading in the garden and just enjoying the space created by the internet dearth. I had to work hard to remember how long it had been since I’d not had internet at home. I think I first had it in 1998/9. Of course back then it was dial up, so I wasn’t connected for long, and I certainly didn’t spend hours playing Scrabble and chatting to virtual friends. I think I began to spend longer on the net from around 2004, and then became a member of a Poultry Forum just before getting chickens and then a French forum just before moving to France, a few years later along came Facebook and my life had changed forever.
I really appreciate all that I have had, and all the people I have “met” virtually, and I know that Facebook (and subsequently Scrabble) has given me many things I wouldn’t have without them. However, Facebook has also given us stuff we’d rather have not had, there is also a negative side to Facebook. Over the past 3 weeks I have really come to recognise how addictive it is and I have made some decisions about how I will use the internet in the future.
I am incredibly relieved I don’t use or own a Smart phone. I know how easily I could become addicted to always being connected. I was half listening to a piece on Radio 4 this morning about Smart phone addiction, and from what I could make out, people are actually going to get help to break their addiction.
So, today is Sunday, and I have been here on and off. My intention for the next week is to not be here during the day and wait until after dinner. I know for most people this is probably their norm, I don’t often do norm. So, if you don’t see me, you know why. I have rediscovered reading, and have read 6 books whilst I’ve been waiting. I can feel a book addiction coming on though!
I am also feeling a little lost as I have now finished blogging Dad’s letter home from his German POW camp Letters from Stalag VIIIB At the moment it’s in the process of being published as an Ebook with some extra’s. I am looking forward to that being completed, but now find myself wondering how to fill the gap.
Anyway, back to my book.